New tool developed to improve planning for entomological surveillance

19 July 2020 Posted by APMEN

Entomological surveillance is a critical component of any effective vector control strategy. A new operational decision-support tool, the Entomological Surveillance Planning Tool (ESPT), is now available for download at the MEI Malaria Elimination Toolkit! The tool was developed by UCSF’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) and the University of Notre Dame to help malaria programs plan entomological surveillance activities, interpret data, and guide important vector control decisions. Developed in response to malaria program demand, the ESPT distils guidance from technical partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) into actionable step-by-step instruction for use by national malaria programs and partners to strengthen entomological surveillance and support locally-tailored, cost-effective, and evidence-based vector control.  

National programs together with implementing or research partners can use the ESPT in various ways, including: annual planning of entomological surveillance activities; interpretation of entomological surveillance data; integration and analysis of entomological and epidemiological data; program-oriented transmission investigations; field and laboratory data collection; training framework for entomological surveillance; capacity gap analysis; and evaluations of vector control interventions, among others. The ESPT emphasizes practical approaches and priority indicators (i.e. minimum essential indicators) to help answer programmatically-relevant questions about local transmission drivers, gaps in protection with current vector control interventions (e.g., insecticide resistance, outdoor biting), and the selection of supplemental vector control interventions to address gaps.

To this end, once a national program identifies its priority questions – e.g., What is driving an increase in transmission in a specific area? Are local vectors still susceptible to the insecticide currently used for IRS? What are the primary and secondary mosquito vectors in a specific area? – the ESPT tool guides the user through distinct modules on what field and laboratory data are required to answer the priority questions and which sampling methods, design, and sites are appropriate given available capacity and resources, including human and financial. The ESPT also provides a framework for integrating entomological data with epidemiological and other data (e.g., human behavior, intervention, rainfall) to better inform vector control decision-making including the targeting and tailoring of interventions.

With malaria transmission plateauing or increasing in areas across the Asia Pacific, the role of entomological surveillance is more important than ever in understanding why and where transmission is persisting and ensuring effective vector control is available to populations at risk. The ESPT will be available in Spanish, French, and Portuguese by the end of 2020, and training materials are also currently in development (expected end 2020). If you are interested in using or learning more about the ESPT, please contact Élodie Vajda at elodie.vajda@ucsf.edu. If national malaria programs are interested in adopting the ESPT, please let UCSF and the APMEN Vector Control Working Group (VCWG) know how we can support.

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